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Marriage and Money

(72 Posts)
tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 14:39:38

How does it work in your relationship when the DH/BF earns and you stay at home? Is it shared equally? Do you spend as you wish?

We live overseas so no bank account for me. DH earns, I have to ask when I every time I need money. I never get what I want, or how much I actually need. I am not high maintenance but never seem to have enough for what I want/need. I don't do anything really for myself but at times I like to go for a coffee or lunch - once a month sometimes, if that. I am not that good with money so it may just be me.

I am just so confused because I will ask for money for something, DH will give me a look or just go silent. The minute I see his look I say okay no problem, I won't do xyz or buy xyz and then he says no, it's okay, you can spend it. Of course I don't do it.

I feel a bit trapped as I don't really know where I can and can not spend money. Sometimes we seem to have money for really great holidays, at other times we don't have enough for me to go to the doctor's. I feel the only way I can justify spending is when it comes to the children. Not really for myself.

He tells me he gives me money every time he has some (he runs his own business which is very capital intensive). I don't doubt that but how long can this go on. I know I am being completely ungrateful and sound very spoilt but living like this for the past 5 years has really got to me.

Apologies if I am rambling (and sound slightly childish) but I am really struggling with so many feelings, the money aspect being one of them. I just want to know how it works with others.

TiredyCustards Wed 24-Apr-13 15:45:06

Having money for holidays but not for you to go to the doctor is wrong wrong wrong!

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 24-Apr-13 15:49:07

Your situation would make me horribly anxious and afraid.

I live abroad, I have a part-time contract work job and am also mainly a SAHM to DD. I have pretty much always earned less than DH.

I have a bank card.
I have access to the online banking.
We have the exact same 'fun money' each month, agreed by both.
We discuss any big purchase or any 'spare' money.
I get to go home if I want on holiday, no question of money, there is always a flight if I want one.

Your husband is controlling and this is not OK.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 24-Apr-13 15:50:04

Oh, and I am not responsible for all the housework because he earns more.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:50:41

You may have little money. But there is no excuse for your not having access to the family money. You are not a child.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:52:50

So, if something happens to your husband - like an accident, and he has to be taken to hospital - you can't withdraw money?

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:54:04

Or (the worst-case scenario) supposing you ever want to leave you husband. You can't because you have no access to any money.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:11:00

No, I couldn't leave unless I dug into the joint account in the UK or asked my parents for money. Once I had to tell my parents in law to tell DH to give me money.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:18:00

MrsTerry, my DH justifies all this by saying that he has his own business. He doesn't get a set salary.

I will look for work after the summer. It is the only way to do it. He doesn't want me to wok though so that would be another battle.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:27:15

What exactly is financial abuse?

flossy101 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:34:34

If he runs his own business can you look at the accounts?

What is the average coming in each month? Then sit down together and work out a budget and agree what money you both have each month after all the bills have been paid for.

I couldn't be asking my DH for money every time I wanted to do something.

I would also look at getting work so you aren't so dependant on him.

He can't not want you to work and not let you have access to the money, he can't have it both ways!

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 24-Apr-13 16:36:31

tummyfull I don't get a set salary. I do contract work and it varies. DH is aware of what I earn, all the money goes through a joint account we both have access to. Not having a set salary is a reason for a really good budget, lots of chats about money management and a good savings plan. It is not an excuse for controlling you.

I will let a more expert MNer talk about what financial abuse is.

This is from Women's Aid:

Financial abuse can include some of the following:

Forcing you to take out credit cards in your name for him.

Creating debt in your name.

Taking all your wages or benefit money.

Refusing to give you money for food or clothes.

Not allowing you to work so you have no income of your own.

Forcing you to put all your money into a joint back account which your abuser closely monitors.

Tying up finances in joint ventures such as a mortgage or business.

Refusing to sell a house or business after the relationship breakdown.

pregnantpause Wed 24-Apr-13 16:37:01

What he is doing to you is financial abuse. He is controlling you by withholding money. He is preventing you from independence intentionally to control you. He doesn't want you to work because you would gain some freedom from his control. He sounds a nasty manipulative man.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:44:47

Thank you everyone for your replies. This has really helped.

He does not want me to work as we won't have any one to look after the children. But you are right, Flossy, he can't have it both ways. I have decided to look for work after the summer as I hate begging for money.

When we were very newly married, he lent his brother £20,000. I was upset that he should have passed it by me but of course I hadn't earned the money and we were newly married so I didn't argue too much.

I have money to buy food. That seems to be the only money though.

whiteandyellowiris Wed 24-Apr-13 16:45:06

we share everything, all goes in one pot,the bill s are paid, some id saved,then we both have equal spending money for nights out clothes gifts etc

works v well for us
both happy with it

and any big choice liek holidays and cars etc are made jointly

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:48:35

After reading many things on here about EA, I brought it up with DH and he changed his ways a bit. I don't think he realises he is being controlling.

Since this asking for money for the doctor thing, we have not spoken. I have not spoken to him, more like. He has not made any attempt at speaking. I know he'll say I'm being unreasonable and that he never stopped me from going to the doctor.

cheeseandchive Wed 24-Apr-13 17:11:28

DH is the sole earner in our family (no kids, just us) as I am a FT student. 'His' money is most definitely our money and it goes into a joint account that we both have equal access to. Mortgage, bills, food, mobiles etc comes from that, and I also have £60 p/m transferred to my own account that is mine to spend however I want. From that I buy toiletries/coffees/haircuts/clothes etc. DH also has the same amount of 'fun money'. In fact, he offered to have less personal spending money than me so that I could have more and when my parents occasionally give me cash gifts he always insists that it is my personal money to do what I want with.

I hope that doesn't make you feel bad, but I just want you to know that your DH's behaviour is not normal or fair. Finances are healthy when partners set the boundaries together (how much there is to spend, how to prioritise expenditure etc) and keep to them. In this case, your DH is dictating the boundaries and you're constantly unsure of what they are when they're going to change! You need to sit down and set clear expectations that you can both stick to.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 24-Apr-13 17:26:59

Incidentally, does he get haircuts, going out money, gadgets, money for stuff?

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Wed 24-Apr-13 17:28:14

Sorry I haven't had time to read all of the replies, but I don't understand why you can't be bold and tell him you are fed-up being treated like a child and you want a joint bank account?

I am guessing you feel a bit guilty being a sahm (not that you should at all), and that you are not on an equal footing to him. He is perhaps sensing this and taking great advantage.

expatinscotland Wed 24-Apr-13 17:38:09

'Once he said to me that he earns more so I am responsible for the housework. This was pre children and when both of us worked. He also said that I don't earn enough to pay the rent or for any other major purchases but he is more than happy to pay for me. That still haunts me as wrong.'

Because it is. He sees you as a servant in his employ. It's abusive.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 17:49:45

MrsTerry, he doesn't really buy anything for himself. He makes sure the tv and internet are always paid for and working. Those are his 'treats'.

Keepcool, I have never asked for a joint account here because I thought it wasn't really necessary. I just thought whenever I needed money I would get it. Actually once a few years ago I said I would like an account and he said there is no need as he would always give me money when I needed it. The house we have here is also soley in his name. I know that sounds so wrong now that I read that back.

My brother in law's wife started working because she was faced with the same situation. But then she never, ever sees her children. I don't want to be that boat. I know I can work part time but part time work is difficult to come by. I definitely intend to do something though.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 17:52:48

ExpatinScotland, I even told a friend of his that he said this. The friend could not believe it. Later DH asked me why I told the friend. He since has denied he said. I know I haven't made it up because I was so shocked he said it.

tomatoplantproject Wed 24-Apr-13 18:22:52

I couldn't live like this, and it sounds like he's got you very firmly in place - the assets of the marriage are in his name and he has full control over all money. Yikes! And lending such a large amount of money without running it past you when you can't even go to the dr when you need to? Something is very wrong.

We have several bank accounts between us - we have 1 joint account which all of the direct debits come out of - in theory it runs itself with a little buffer, 1 account for food, meals out together, and 1 account with a large sum as a 'just in case' pot we both have access to should something bad happen. We each have our own accounts for personal spending. We review every now and again to make sure we're ok financially particularly cos I'm currently in maternity leave so am not paying into the joint accounts any more. But I still have my own spending money for lunch out, bits of clothes etc.

And I am now in charge of the house and housework - not because I earn less but because I am the one here during the day. And I've just hired a cleaner because dd is harder work than I had anticipated. Dh is totally ok with this because we can afford it, if not we would work out our finances again and agree priorities.

GilmoursPillow Wed 24-Apr-13 18:31:40

When I gave up working it took quite a bit of time for us to settle down.

when we moved abroad a joint account was our only option and DH doesn't question what I spend. I have my own c/c and atm card plus I have his log-in as well as my own for online banking.

I'd be pretty upset if he wasn't happy for us to share the finances.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:19:33

I think how DH justifies everything is by saying that when he has money he gives it to me and when he doesn't he can't. How long can I accept this though - it's been 5 years. I don't have the patience. BIL's wife says she's been in this situation for 9/10 years. That's how long they have been together. She eventually started working because there was no other option. We own everything jointly in the UK, not out here though.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:21:33

Also, we have joint accounts but DH does not want me to have online access to our accounts, ie online banking. He says if I need to check stuff I should just check paper statements. This was when we lived in the UK. He says he doesn't want me to transfer money between the accounts 'by accident'. He really does take me for an idiot.

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